Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
One-day cricket
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

One-day cricket

A night match at Old Trafford

One-day cricket is a version of the sport of cricket that is completed in one day, as distinct from Test cricket and first-class cricket which can take up to five days to complete.

Table of contents
1 Structure
2 History
3 One-day Internationals
4 See also


In a one-day cricket match, each team bats only once, and each innings is limited to a set number of overss, usually fifty in a One-day International and between forty and sixty in a List A domestic one-day match. Other changes to the game include additional restrictions on where fielders may be placed (preventing teams from placing every fielder on the edge of the field to prevent boundaries), a restriction on the number of overs that may be bowled by any one bowler and stricter rules on wide balls and short deliveries (to prevent teams from restricting scoring by bowling deliveries that batsmen have no chance to score from). In many games a white ball is used rather than the traditional red, the need to paint rather than stain the white ball gives it subtly different characteristics in flight as it wears.

One-day cricket is popular with spectators, as it can encourage aggressive, risky, entertaining batting, often results in cliffhanger endings and ensures that a spectator can go and see an entire match without committing to five days of continuous attendance. However, many fans of Test match cricket regard it as ignoring the skills of bowlerss, prone to random results not reflective of the relative skill of the teams, and with modern one-day tactics where batsmen take few risks outside the first and last few overs, lacking in the claimed excitement. Such criticisms have gained steam with the revitalisation, led by Australia, of Test matches.

Bowling restrictions

As mentioned above, in almost all competitive one-day games, a restriction is placed on the number of overs that may be bowled by any one bowler. This is to prevent a side playing two bowlers with extremely good stamina who can then bowl the entirety of their side's overs, thus skewing the composition of a side. The classical composition of a cricket team is five specialist batsmen, five specialist bowlers and a wicket-keeper: in order to maintain this, the usual limitation is set so that a side must include at least five bowlers. For example, the usual limit for twenty-over cricket is four overs per bowler, for forty-over cricket eight per bowler and for fifty-over cricket ten per bowler.

There is at least one notable exception to this convention. Pro Cricket in the United States restricts bowlers to five overs each, thus leaving a side requiring only four bowlers.


One-day cricket began between English county teams on May 2, 1962. Leicsetershire beat Derbyshire and Northamptonshire beat Nottinghamshire over 65 overs in the "Midlands Knock-Out Cup", which Northamptonshire went on to win a week later. The following year, the first full-scale one-day competition between first-class teams was played, the knock-out Gillette Cup, won by Sussex. League one-day cricket also began in England, when the John Player Sunday League was started in 1969. Both these competitions have continued every season since inauguration, though the sponsorship has changed. The knock-out cup is now the Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy. The league is no longer played only on Sundays.

The first One-day International (ODI) match was played in Melbourne in 1971, and the quadrennial cricket World Cup began in 1975. Many of the "packaging" innovations, such as coloured clothing, were as a result of World Series Cricket, a "rebel" series set up outside the cricketing establishment by Australian entrepreneur Kerry Packer. For more details, see History of cricket.

One-day Internationals

One-day International matches are usually played in brightly coloured clothing (leading some to give it the unflattering nickname pyjama cricket), and often in a "day-night" format where the first innings of the day occurs in the afternoon and the second occurs under stadium lights.

One-day international tournaments occur in various forms:

See also